Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Idolatry is a great abomination which G-d wants abolished or nullified, hence I want to know whether the believing people of the past took an action against it even if they were in the minority.

Are there examples, in Tanach or other traditional Jewish sources, of a prophet or his followers destroying idolatry in a majority pagan land?

share|improve this question
    
What about Josiah? –  msh210 Mar 5 '13 at 18:27
    
What about the Maccabees? –  Charles Koppelman Mar 6 '13 at 5:23
    
This seems like a perfectly reasonable question to me. I cannot figure out why three different people would have independently downvoted it. –  Shimon bM Mar 6 '13 at 14:16
2  
@ShimonbM, It's been through many revisions. The votes could have been on a previous version. –  Isaac Moses Mar 6 '13 at 14:58
1  
What about Yehu? mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt09b10.htm#18 –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 19:58
show 2 more comments

1 Answer 1

There are several examples throughout Jewish literature and history. Two of the most famous are below.

  • One of the more famous incidents is actually not from the Torah, though it is about Avram as a young child. According to Jewish tradition, Abram's father Terah owned an idol shop, where he sold idols of all types, which he himself had made. A young Avram realized that this was wrong, and one day, when his father went out for an errand, leaving Avram to watch the shop, Avram took the opportunity to destroy all the idols except for the largest one. He took the hammer he had used to smash the idols and placed it in the hand of the remaining idol. When his father returned, he was furious and demanded an explanation. Avram insisted that the large idol had destroyed all the others, to which his father replied that this was impossible, because the idols are made of stone. To this, Avram responded that he had proven his point. But the story doesn't end there - his own father turned him over to Nimrod, a powerful warrior and leader, who led the opposition to the Monotheistic tradition that had been handed down via Noah's descendants. Nimrod had Avram thrown into a furnace, but he miraculously survived unscathed. As a result, Terah repented.

  • When Bnei Yisrael were enslaved in Egypt, one of the primary gods worshiped by the Egyptians was the sheep. After the 9th plague, G-d commanded us to slay a lamb and spread its blood on our doorposts as a sign, because the Plague of the Firstborns was going to commence and any home that did not have that sign would fall victim to it.

share|improve this answer
    
only 2 examples? –  Ali Mar 8 '13 at 6:00
    
@Ali " There are several examples throughout Jewish literature and history. Two of the most famous are below." –  Seth J Mar 8 '13 at 13:01
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.